Godoy v. Curry et al

Filing 8

ORDER DENYING PETITION re 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Napoleon Godoy. Signed by Judge William Alsup on 11/14/11. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(dtS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/14/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 NAPOLEON GODOY, Petitioner, For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 11 12 13 No. C 10-1121 WHA (PR) ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS v. CURRY, Warden, Respondent. / 14 INTRODUCTION 15 16 Petitioner, a California prisoner, filed this pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus 17 challenging the denial of parole pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2254. Respondent was ordered to show 18 cause why the writ should not be granted. Respondent filed an answer, and petitioner filed a 19 traverse. For the reasons discussed below, the petition is DENIED. STATEMENT 20 21 In 1993, petitioner was convicted of second-degree murder in Los Angeles County 22 Superior Court, and he was sentenced to a term of nineteen years to life in state prison. In 2008, 23 the California Board of Parole Hearings (“Board) found petitioner unsuitable for parole. 24 Petitioner challenged this decision in unsuccessful habeas petitions filed in all three levels of the 25 California courts. 26 27 28 ANALYSIS Petitioner claims that the denial of parole violated his right to due process because there was not at least “some evidence” that he would be a danger to society if released. The United Amendment to the United States Constitution entitles a California prisoner to only “minimal” 3 procedural protections in connection with a parole suitability determination. Swarthout v 4 Cooke, 131 S.Ct. 859, 862 (2011). Specifically, the Due Process Clause only entitles a 5 California prisoner to an opportunity to be heard and a statement of the reasons why parole was 6 denied. Ibid. The transcript of the parole hearing indicates that he had an opportunity to be 7 heard and was given a statement of the reasons parole was denied (see Resp. Ex. 1, Ex. A). The 8 Constitution does not require more. Ibid. The court explained that no Supreme Court case 9 “supports converting California’s ‘some evidence’ rule into a substantive federal requirement.” 10 Ibid. It is simply irrelevant in federal habeas review "whether California's 'some evidence' rule 11 For the Northern District of California States Supreme Court has recently held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth 2 United States District Court 1 of judicial review (a procedure beyond what the Constitution demands) was correctly applied." 12 Id. at 863. In light of the Supreme Court’s determination that due process does not require that 13 there be any amount of evidence to support the parole denial, petitioner’s claim challenging the 14 sufficiency of the evidence supporting the Board’s decision is without merit. 15 CONCLUSION 16 The petition for a writ of habeas corpus is DENIED. Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing 17 Section 2254 Cases now requires a district court to rule on whether a petitioner is entitled to a 18 certificate of appealability in the same order in which the petition is denied. Petitioner has 19 failed to make a substantial showing that his claims amounted to a denial of his constitutional 20 rights or demonstrate that a reasonable jurist would find the denial of his claim debatable or 21 wrong. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). Consequently, no certificate of 22 appealability is warranted in this case. 23 The clerk shall enter judgment and close the file. 24 IT IS SO ORDERED. 25 Dated: November 14 , 2011. 26 WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 27 G:\PRO-SE\WHA\HC.10\GODOY1121.RUL.wpd 28 2

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